SOME publicans fear they may not be able to open their doors for many more months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime minister Boris Johnson's roadmap for easing lockdown indicates pubs might be back in business on July 4 – but the 2m social-distancing rule presents a problem for many.

Paul Hunt, landlord of The Plough in Old Town, has concerns.

He said: “We’ve got to abide but the government guidelines so I’m still in limbo.

“I don’t know what’s going on but I do know I will be one of the last to open, purely on size.

“Trying to keep two metres apart in this little boozer will be pretty impossible.”

Landlord of the Heart in Hand pub in Blunsdon, Steve Leppard, is in a similar situation.

He added: “We’re just waiting. We’ve been given an indication of July 4 by Enterprise Inns and they’re going to send us some stuff to divide the place up for social distancing.

“But we’re a very small village pub and I can’t see that working. We’ve got a big garden but you’ve then got the English weather.”

In Stratton, The Kingsdown is preparing to reopen. Staff have spent the lockdown period keeping the pub in a clean condition and planning the new seating arrangements.

Manager Roger Waite said: “Guidelines from the government mean it’s a bit tricky to plan out how to reopen.

“We’ve got something to start with but it’s difficult at the moment. We’ve worked out all the seating space if we have for two metres but if they drop that then we’ll have more.”